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AMBER welcomes MEPs approval of Energy Performance of Buildings Directive – Role now for Materials Science to play

12 March 2024

AMBER welcomes the approval by MEPs in Strasbourg today of The Energy Performance of Buildings Directive EU/2010/31. The Directive has been revised to help meet the demands of the EU’s climate commitments for 2030 and 2050 as well as enabling the overall goal of reducing emissions from the construction sector by 60% in 2030.  The directive as modified on the 12th March has implications for Ireland. The revised directive will facilitate increased financing for investments in the building sector enabling the design and building of new stock and retro-fitting of old stock. A particular aim is to combat energy poverty by supporting vulnerable consumers. An important piece of this Directive is that all EU countries will have to ensure that there are safeguards for tenants, such as through rent support or caps on rent increases, allowing this cohort to be part of a green transition at affordable costs.

As well as financing the Directive includes practical measures for improving the energy efficiency and use of buildings. Under the Directive, minimum energy performance standards for non-residential buildings will be introduced to enable more renovation of older stock.  There will also be higher standards for new buildings towards zero-emission. Energy performance certificates will be modified and mandated favouring higher energy efficiency as will the introduction of renovation passports for building, containing all the required and validated information.

For building under the Directive, they will have to be solar-ready. For Ireland a particular issue is the gradual phase-out of stand-alone boilers powered by fossil fuels, starting with the end of subsidies to such boilers from 1 January 2025. There are other critical changes being implemented.

This is an important Directive critical to meeting climate goals.  For Ireland it will provide a catalysts for our retro-fitting programme and force buildings to be made and refurbished to the highest standards.

There is a role for Materials Science and Advanced Materials to play in this, as we seek to decarbonise we must continue to invest in research of greater capabilities for batteries and energy supply at a minimum. A multidisciplinary working group to explore the investment needed to reach the targets of the Directive and advise on implementation prior to the transposition of the legislation is necessary to ensure that Ireland as a nation reaches these targets.


Professor Mick Morris, Director of AMBER previously discussed energy alternatives for Ireland including solar panels, the challenges and mitigation including European aligned grid energy at a pervious Oireachtas Committee.

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